While in South Africa, I visited an extraordinary citrus production facility. I was excited to see this particular facility because they produce citrus essences, which are different than essential oils. Essences are extracted from the juice of the citrus rather than the peel, giving them a vital, bright, sparkling aroma.
The picture above is of oranges that have just been picked. You can see them being removed from the truck and washed.
We were given a tour of the whole process—washing the fruit, removing the peel, pressing the fruit for juice, and finally evaporating the essential oil from the juice. Truly an amazing process.
The Limpopo province, where this facility is located, is right in the middle of a huge citrus growing region. We saw beautiful fully ripe orchards along our drive, with every citrus fruit you can imagine hanging from the trees!
Clive, the man in the picture below, is a distiller I have worked with for 15 years. He is truly an inspiration. Clive took us on an incredible journey around the province to see the citrus production, meet his tea tree distiller, and visit the people who do his avocado oil pressing.
Below you can see the fruit juice coming out after the pressing—the last step before the essential oil is separated out from the juice.
Producing citrus essences is a totally natural process! If you want to purchase citrus essences from trees grown without any pesticides or herbicides, and extracted at this very facility in South Africa, Aromatics International sells them. This is the link to their orange essence.
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